School districts in the valley are taking caution during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Shana Longhurst, communications specialist at Logan City School District, said the district is working with the Bear River Health Department to decide how to navigate the school year.
Longhurst said the district recommends hand washing, mask wearing and vaccinations for those who are eligible.
Unlike the 2020-21 school year, there will be no mask mandate.
If a positive case is identified, Longhurst said people who could have been exposed will be notified and sent recommended instructions for how to proceed.
Logan City School District’s protocols will be implemented at all of its schools district-wide.
Longhurst said the district is encouraging everyone to wear a mask in school, especially if they are unvaccinated. The district is also encouraging vaccinations for those who are able to receive them.
“We are hopeful that as we do so, we will have enough individuals wear masks so that we will be able to limit the spread of COVID-19 among our students until a vaccine for children under the age of 12 becomes available,” she said.
Cache County School District will operate similarly.
Assistant superintendent Tim Smith said measures taken by the district include encouraging masks, testing and vaccinations, and following illness protocols such as staying home when sick, increased personal hygiene, and enhanced cleaning in the school buildings.
There is not a mask mandate in the Cache County district, Smith said, saying it’s a choice for parents and students to make.
“We have a lot more tools to combat the virus including increased availability of testing and vaccines,” Smith said.
Smith said faculty and students 12 and older are encouraged to get vaccinated.
“Vaccination is very important to mitigating the transmission and spread of the virus,” he said.
Both districts will act in accordance with the 2021-22 School Year COVID-19 Response Plan, which was developed through BRHD, Cache County School District, Logan City School District, Box Elder School District and Rich School District.
According to the response plan, if vaccinated students or faculty are exposed to a positive case, they may not be asked to quarantine.
The plan states that if a school meets a threshold of either 2% or 30 positive cases, a “Test to Stay” protocol will be implemented in cooperation with BRHD.
The protocol means that individuals would need a negative COVID test result to remain in school during an outbreak period. If an individual chooses not to be tested, they would not have a negative test and according to state statute cannot attend school during an outbreak period.
According to data from BRHD’s website, Cache County reported an average of 36 new cases daily for Friday and the six days prior. Seven Cache residents have been hospitalized with the virus over the past week, and 61 have been hospitalized over the past four weeks.
As of Tuesday, about 119,986 doses of vaccinations have been administered to residents of Cache County.